Smoke Testing of the Sanitary Sewer System – November 2021

By November 5, 2021November 9th, 2021Events, Issues, Resources, Ward 1

What are we doing?
The Region of Peel have retained Infrastructure Intelligence Services (I2S) to complete smoke testing within your neighbourhood. The area to be tested is shown on the map.

What is smoke testing?
Smoke testing is a safe, quick way to identify connections points to the sewer. It consists of blowing smoke into the sewer and canvassing the area to see where smoke exits. The smoke used in the test has no odour, is not harmful to your health, and will disappear in a few minutes.

The test is the first step to identify the connection points for roof downspouts, catch basins, and other water inlets (i.e. to the sanitary sewer or storm sewer).

Testing is expected to begin on November 8, 2021 and is expected to last two (2) to four (4) weeks.

What do I need to do?
• Pour a few cups of water into all floor drains, and any sinks, showers, or other plumbing fixtures when you receive this notice. This is to ensure all plumbing traps under sinks, washing facilities and floor drains have water in them to impede the smoke from entering.
• If smoke enters your home and you experience smoke irritation, please leave the affected area and the irritation will quickly subside.
• If you, or any member of your family, have a health condition that you feel we need to be aware of please contact the Region of Peel at 905-791-7800, ext. 4409.

The fire department will be notified of the streets being tested. If you have doubt about the origin of smoke, call the non-emergency communications line at 905-456-5788. For emergencies always contact 911 and they can determine if the smoke is related to the testing or if the fire department should be dispatched.

Some common questions are answered on the next page. For more information visit or follow us on Twitter @peelpublicworks. For general inquiries please visit or contact Region of Peel at 905-791-7800, ext. 4409. Should you have any further questions please contact Laura Gerencser at the Region of Peel at 905-867-6046 or

1. Is the smoke harmful?
No, if the smoke enters your home, it may make you cough, but it is not harmful to your health and will not harm pets, clothing, draperies or furniture.

2. What should I do to prepare for smoke testing?
Ensure all plumbing traps have water in them as soon as you receive this notice. To do so, pour a few cups of water down each drain, sink, washing facility and floor drain. You may also wish to leave a few upstairs windows open a small amount, if you feel it is safe to do so during the testing period.

3. Do I need to stay home for the duration of the test?
No, you do not need to be home when testing is being performed.

4. What day the testing will be performed on my street?
Follow us on Twitter, @peelpublicworks for a daily update of the schedule. The sample tweet below was posted before testing commenced and provided a list of streets scheduled for testing.

5. What is the purpose of smoke testing?
The purpose of the testing is primarily to find potential points where storm water enters sanitary sewers.

6. What does it mean if smoke enters my house?
If smoke enters your house, it might mean there are deficiencies in the plumbing that may also allow sewer gas to enter your home. The common cause is dry pluming traps that allow smoke to enter.

7. What should I do if smoke enters my house?
If smoke does enter your home, note the location of the smoke, pour some water down the drain and open windows for ventilation. Contact the Region of Peel at 905-791-7800, ext. 4409 and the on-site supervisor will be notified to visit your address.

8. If smoke gets into the house, how long does it take to dissipate?
The smoke will dissipate in a few minutes. Open windows for ventilation.

9. Where can I get more information?
For general inquiries please visit or contact Region of Peel at 905-791-7800, ext. 4409.

10. What is next?
You will be contacted only if we found something to report.